Yes Please to Cheese-less Mac & Cheese!

For the past couple months, I’ve been switching over to a dairy-free lifestyle. Which actually hasn’t been that hard of a transition. Well…except for one detail.

Guys, I love cheese.

And it’s not until I stopped eating cheese that I began realizing just how many recipes include the stuff. Craving some comfort food? Good luck sans the cheddar. In a Mexican mood? Not without that pepper jack. How about a Greek salad? Umm…don’t forget the feta.

Sure. I could simply omit cheese from these dishes, but where’s the pleasure in that? There’s gotta be another solution. At which point you’re probably thinking: Yeah, genius. It’s called vegan cheese. Touché. But I’m new at this dairy-free business!

Besides, I’m not about scouring Whole Foods for nutritional yeast. Or soaking cashews in water for three hours. Or you know…whatever.

The point is I’m lazy and need that cheese fix like yesterday.

Which is the inspiration behind my own formula: Minimum Patience + Maximum Desire = Liquid Gold Sauce in Under 5 Minutes.

vegan-cheese-sauce

In keeping with a minimalist theme, I opted for the pre-sliced variety. So, after comparing ingredients in multiple brands, Chao made the final cut. It’s tofu and coconut-based without any preservatives or GMOs. To sum up, I’m fangirling.

Yep. Over tofu and coconuts. I mean…we’ve all been there.

Something else I’m fangirling over: mac & cheese. And quinoa. Because I’m a wellness blogger. And. We. Eat. Quinoa. So, that combination is how Cheese-less Broccoli Quinoa Mac & Cheese became a thing.

And my taste buds lived happily ever after!

broccoli-quinoa-mac-and-cheese

Ingredients:

1/2 Broccoli Head (chopped into florets)

1 cup Dairy-Free Milk (Unsweetened)

2 Vegan Cheese Slices (of Preference)

1/2 cup Quinoa (Organic)

1 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp. Spelt Flour*

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

*spelt contains gluten, so if you need a GF alternative, check out these options.

quinoa-mac-and-cheese-ingredients

Preparation:

  1. Cook the quinoa on your stovetop, following the package instructions.
  2. Pre-heat a saucepan on another stovetop burner, bring to medium, then add the milkflourolive oilgarlic and sea salt.
  3. Stir until the consistency thickens, then add your preferred vegan cheese and stir again until melted.
  4. Pre-heat a smaller saucepan on yet another stovetop burner, pour in about 1 inch of water, bring to boil, then add the broccoli.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium, then cover your saucepan and steam the broccoli for 5 minutes.
  6. Combine the broccoli and quinoa, then pour the vegan cheese sauce on top, and stir to distribute the flavors evenly.

quinoa-mac-and-cheese-collage

Yeaaaaah. I know what you’re making for dinner tonight. Don’t even pretend otherwise. But like…it’s healthy mac & cheese. Why wouldn’t you make it for dinner tonight?

shrugging

Exactly. *drops wooden spoon*

Coffee + Coconut Oil = What’s Been Missing from Your Morning

name tag

And I’m a coffee addict.

But, like an unapologetic coffee addict. As in…I. Will. Not. Stop.

No lemon water-peddling holistic health coach is gonna shame me into quitting this black gold elixir of life. It’s my only incentive for not hitting “snooze” each morning. Thanks, coffee. Just for being you.

Eternal devotion aside though, I am cutting down on sugar and dairy, which kinda rules out my weakness for International Delight. Not gonna lie…this was a painful switcheroo. Tears were quite possibly shed. Until a certain superfood hitched a ride in my grocery cart and was all, “I’m about to rock your world, Coffee Addict!”

Yup. Enter: coconut oil.

I’ve heard people in the wellness community rave about that so-called “miracle worker with 100-plus uses,” but its price tag always discouraged me from believing the hype. Then, I started noticing Instagram posts touting the benefits of this stuff in coffee. Well, I’ll try anything with the magic word involved.

So…$8.50 later, yours truly became a coconut oil convert.

And didn’t waste a second testing out that coffee claim. Most tutorials I found unanimously agree—the secret is blending. Don’t just dump a glob in your mug, stir it around, then congratulate yourself on mission accomplished. Or, so the Blogosphere said. And I took note.

Out came the Nutri Bullet. In went the coffee-coconut oil combo. And my taste buds did their happy dance. You were right, Blogosphere…that blended latte-esque texture is pure bliss. Now this right here is the black gold elixir of life. Never. Going. Back.

coconut oil coffee blended

But if you still need more convincing that coconut oil = the savior of coffee addicts everywhere, check out its nutritional breakdown:

  • plant-based Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) fatty acids for natural weight loss
  • ketones for improved brain function, boosted metabolism & reduced appetite 
  • lauric acid for protection against viruses & bacteria
  • no sugar, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol or carbohydrates
  • USDA certified organic & non-GMO verified ingredients

‘Nuff said. So, without further ado…taste test, anyone?


Café au Lait 

(move over, milk!)

Café au COCONUT OIL:

coconut oil coffee ingredient list

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Almond Milk (organic & unsweetened)

1/2 tbsp. Coconut Oil (organic)

2–3 scoops Coffee (or 1 K-Cup)

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract (organic)

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon (ground)

1–2 packets Stevia (organic)*

*This ingredient is totally optionalI just prefer my coffee on the non-bitter side, and Stevia gets the job done!

coconut oil and coffee

Preparation:

  1. Brew your desired amount of coffee, then pour into a blender.
  2. Add the coconut oil, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and stevia (as needed).
  3. Blend these ingredients on “high” for 5–10 seconds, or until combined.
  4. Transfer to your favorite mug (like mine from Dean & Deluca—clearly, I’m a sucker for New York nostalgia).
  5. Savor all that creamy, frothy, can’t-stop-won’t-stop amazingness.
coconut oil coffee

pretentious Parisian placemat…optional.